It must be a year since I’ve put pen to paper (virtually) about MG Motor UK, and I think my tone back then might have been careful optimism about the company’s chances once the MG GS comes on stream. One year on, it feels as though the wait for this interestingly-styled, C-segment SUV is as long as ever, and we’re still notching up penny number sales in the UK.
I do like the look of the MG GS and, given it was penned by Anthony Williams-Kenny in Longbridge, following Steve Harper’s work on the MG Icon SUV concept and the subsequent CS SUV, there’s a very strong British connection to talk about. It’s a genuine collaboration between Shanghai and Longbridge – who’d have thought that a decade ago. But it does feel like we need this car now, not in late 2016, and with a wider range than the initial 2.0-litre 217bhp four-cylinder offered in China.
More concerning are the ongoing quality issues coming out of Longbridge. I was interested to see the outcome of Mike Humble’s recent week with the facelifted MG6 TL. It seems the car’s undoubted potential, and now extremely sensible pricing structure, was being undone by shoddy build and on-test breakdowns and failures. It seems my colleagues at CAR Magazine were also similarly stricken, so this was no isolated incident. That’s a shame…
So, the question is – should we care, here at AROnline? The car’s not made here and, in all likelihood, it’s going to struggle reaching for class leadership. A rival for the MG GS is the Nissan Qashqai, and that is rather more British – it was designed and developed in the UK, and is built by good men in Washington at Britain’s largest and most productive car factory.
Still, despite all this, I’m quietly rooting for the GS. I love an underdog (must be why I was a serial Rover, Saab and Citroen owner), and especially one with an interesting back story. I know the odds are against it, and it’s likely to be rather less well-made than its established European (and Korean) rivals, but it does at least look good. And when you buy one, you can pick it up from Longbridge. Is it enough? What do you think? Should we care?
So, MG Motor UK – your coverage’s fate on AROnline lies in the hands of our readers. Whatever the weight of comments reflect, we’ll go with that decision. Democracy lives here…